Victim Voices

Why We Do What We Do, Featuring Jill Walker

On November 21, 2016, a heart-wrenching tragedy struck Jill Walker's life. She was confronted with the unimaginable - her 16-year-old daughter, Emma, had been murdered in her sleep by an ex-boyfriend. This devastating event not only sent shockwaves through their community but also irrevocably transformed Jill's life in profound ways.

Joan Berry on "Why We Do What We Do"

Joan Berry has been instrumental in the movement for victims' rights. Through her steadfast advocacy, Joan previously helped to implement the "Johnia Berry Act 2007," which mandates the submission of DNA samples when a person is arrested for a violent felony. She also founded "Hope for Victims," to lend a voice to families who, like her, have lost loved ones to crime.

Tina Gregg

After her daughter was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend and boss in 2011, Tina Gregg was never notified when the man charged with her daughter's murder left the state. Instead, she found out on Facebook. Her daughter, Brooke Morris, was a vibrant young woman and a loving mother to her 3-year-old son. Her family honors her legacy by sharing her story and fighting for victims' rights in Tennessee.

Emma Walker's legacy gives a voice to victims of domestic violence

My life changed forever on the morning of Nov. 21, 2016, when I found my beautiful daughter, Emma, had been murdered in her sleep. Those are words every mother prays she never has to say. Emma was bubbly, kind, and a friend to all. She had a contagious zest for life that was especially apparent when doing what she loved — being on the sidelines cheering on the Central High School Bobcats in our hometown of Knoxville. It was no surprise when Emma caught the attention of a Central High School junior and wide receiver on the football team, Riley Gaul. My first impression of him was a positive one. He was a polite, very normal-seeming kid. How could I have known that I was not only meeting my daughter’s new boyfriend, I was also meeting her future murderer?

My daughter was murdered. Now I fight for rights of victims, their families

On Dec. 6, 2004, my daughter, Johnia Berry, a bright and ambitious student at the University of Tennessee, was brutally stabbed and murdered. As the mother of a daughter who passed away during a violent crime, I know how important it is for victims’ families to have a voice in the criminal legal system.

Dollie Gouge

Dollie Gouge was a loving mother, grandmother, and Bible school teacher. She was respected in the community and well-known for caring for anyone in need. She had been the full-time caregiver of her mother for 25 years.

Brooke Morris

Brooke Morris of Knoxville, Tennessee, was a vibrant young woman and a loving mother to her 3-year-old son. In 2011, Brooke was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend and boss. She was shot three times while running for her life on the side of a Roane County road. Her body was found by a passing driver.

Why We Do What We Do, Featuring Marianne Dunavant

It has been 13 years since the tragic murder of Marianne Dunavant's fiancée. Turning her pain into purpose, she has poured herself into the effort to make her community stronger and safer. She has served on the boards of prestigious child advocacy and domestic violence organizations as well as numerous community groups and charitable organizations. Marianne has been named one of the Top Twenty Most Influential Women of West Tennessee and was named one of the Best of the Best community activists by the readers of the Covington Leader newspaper.

In the second installment of our ongoing Facebook Live series, "Why We Do What We Do," we sat down with Marianne to discuss her path to becoming an advocate for victims' rights after enduring tragedy.

Giving my pain a purpose: Why I support Marsy’s Law to protect crime victims in Tennessee

Anyone can become a victim of crime at any time — although I never thought I would become one. 

I first met Chris in 2006, and we quickly fell in love. We moved in together and began planning and building our life. We talked about our dreams and our goals to start a family. Then, on Oct. 26, 2007, what started as the best day of my life, ended as the worst and changed my life forever.